Exploring issues relating to the Troubles, legacy and approaches to understanding the past.
Episode 8 - Terry Watson - Pass Tartan and Donegall Pass in the early 1970s
In this episode of Hidden Histories I have released an interview with Terry Watson that I conducted on 25 July 2013 as part of my research for the book Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries. Sadly Terry died in December 2020 after a long illness. His family kindly gave me permission to use this interview for a podcast episode.
In the interview Terry talks about growing up in Donegall Pass in the early 1970s and his experiences in the Pass Tartan.
Rather than put a sheen on his memories, Terry pretty much tells it as it was and explains how some of the attitudes were formed by the society in which he lived.
Terry documented the life and history of Donegall Pass so it seems fitting that this interview will contribute to a better understanding of life in the Pass during the violent early Troubles.
This episode is dedicated to Terry and his family.
Tartan Gangs - Interview on BBC Good Morning Ulster - 08/11/2018
Tartan Gangs - Interview on BBC Good Morning Ulster - 08/11/2018 by Gareth Mulvenna
Episode 7 - Gay Troubles with Jeff Dudgeon
In this episode I chat to Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE about the gay experience of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Jeff is famous for having brought a case to Strasbourg which led to the decriminalization of homosexuality in NI. He is also the editor of Roger Casement's 'Black Diaries' and most recently wrote a short book about Montgomery Hyde. He was involved in the foundation of Cara / Friend in the mid-1970s and was, until recently, an Ulster Unionist Councillor for the Balmoral DEA in Belfast.
Ruefrex - The Ruah
Ruefrex - The Sources and the Energies
Episode 6 - In Memory of Henry Sinnerton
Welcome back to Hidden Histories of the Northern Ireland Troubles. It has been a long six months since the last episode was released. I apologise for the silence, but other things - day to day life mainly - took over. In the past few weeks I decided to resurrect HH and set up a GoFundMe page
People have been extremely generous with their contributions and I have been able to renew a full subscription for SoundCloud and cover some travel costs for future episodes.
I have big plans for the podcast and the first couple of episodes I have confirmed for the next series (well, the first proper series) are very exciting.
I have decided to release part of an interview I conducted in my home in September 2013 with the late and sadly missed Henry Sinnerton. Henry was a fantastic educationalist who wrote the biography of David Ervine, 'Uncharted Waters'.
In 2013 Henry talked to me about teaching in Orangefield Boys' Secondary in East Belfast during the period when the Tartan gangs emerged. He also described the effect of the UWC strike in May 1974 on his ability to get to work.
This special interim episode is dedicated to Henry and also to Lyra McKee. Lyra was scheduled to me my sixth guest before she was cruelly murdered in April.
*Excerpt of 'Correct Your Fireside Manner' by Ruefrex included at beginning of episode as theme (with permission of Paul Burgess)
Episode 5 - Firefighters of Belfast with Brian Allaway
In this episode myself and Sam McIlwaine talk to Brian Allaway. Brian is the author of a new book 'Firefighters of Belfast - the Fire Service During the Troubles 1969 - 1994' (Luath Press).
Brian joined the Belfast Fire Brigade in 1969, just as the Troubles were beginning, as a 16-year-old trainee. In his book Brian brings together his own often traumatic but courageous experiences with similar memories from former colleagues and friends who he interviewed.
The book is available from Luath Press: www.luath.co.uk/productsf/firefighters-of-belfast
Episode 4 - Paul Burgess
In Episode 4 of Hidden Histories of the Northern Ireland Troubles I chat to Paul Burgess about growing up in the Shankill and Glenbryn during the 1970s, co-forming the punk band Ruefrex, supporting Stiff Little Fingers and how the Troubles influenced his music and writing.
Paul's first novel 'White Church Black Mountain' (Matador, 2015)is a thrilling 'post-conflict' story which deals with the dark secrets held by the Troubles, and the legacy of decades of bloodshed.
The best of Ruefrex - Capital Letters - is available on Cherry Red Records.
Follow Paul on Twitter @polbrugha
A great history of the troubles
Fantastic storytelling, knowledgeable host, and great audio quality. Amazing interviews and hoping more will come.
A great podcast on a fascinating subject little known (or understood) on these shores.